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Old 03-28-2011, 04:51 PM   #1
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If it's not your first birth...

Okay, mamas who are having their first baby, seriously don't read this. I don't want to scare you off or make you think that your labor will not be fairly pleasant...




So, for those you who are expecting your 2nd, 3rd, whatever number child, am I the only one who is absolutely terrified of giving birth again?

My first labor and delivery was just so much worse than I ever could have expected. I went in thinking that would just use the tub and my little TENS machine to control the pain, and by the time I was 1 centimeter, I was already begging for pain meds. The pain meds wore off well before I was given the okay for an epidural, and then once I got the okay at 3 centimeters, it took 2 hours before the anesthesiologist came. For much of my labor, I was in such agony that I couldn't move at all--it took me 5 minutes to sit up to get the epidural because every tiny movement caused a new wave of unbearable contractions that hurt so much I had to remind myself to keep breathing. My contractions came in triples--I didn't even know that was possible! I was seriously begging God to have mercy on me.

I was induced, but I wan't given pitocin just cervidil. So, I'm terrified that this is just how my body deals with labor. I hear these stories of women who can actually walk around or change position during labor, and I wonder what went wrong for me.

Am I the only one?

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Old 03-28-2011, 04:56 PM   #2
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Re: If it's not your first birth...

Inductions make labors WAYYYYYY worse and harder... if you are not induced...sans maybe having your water broken...it will be MUCHHHHHH better! Seriously! I can speak from experience with several labors under my belt...Inductions hurt SO much worse... my natural labors are virtually pain free and I can move around and whatever so much easier!!
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:00 PM   #3
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Re: If it's not your first birth...

Oy.

I can't really relate to that story, other than the 2 hours of agony waiting for the anesthesiologist... DD came 5 weeks early, and I was already 6 cm the first time anybody thought to check my cervix. So I asked for an epidural shortly thereafter, and since it was a holiday (Memorial Day), there was like one single solitary anesthesiologist in the whole flippin' hospital, so my wait was agonizing and long. I eventually reached the "couldn't move" stage, so I know how that feels, and was begging, literally begging for an epidural... Pretty sure I offered up large quantities of cash if they'd do mine before the emergency c-section... Midwife said "Oh, you can totally do this naturally if the anesthesia doesn't get here soon..." Cue lengthy string of expletives from this mama. Some people can/want to do childbirth naturally--I just do not happen to be one of them!! Finally got epidural and DD was born about 40 minutes after it was placed... Whirlwind day. She was under 6 pounds and healthy for being born at 35 weeks, so all was well. This baby has been measuring large, and I'm uber worried that he'll wind up being nine and a half pounds or something and recovery/delivery will be an entirely different monster this time around... I'm secretly hoping for him to arrive sometime around 36-37 weeks just so he may be 8 pounds or less... I guess I don't get any mom of the year awards for admitting to that... <Sigh>

I think non-first deliveries are just different, in that we know what to expect... and it ain't sunshine and rainbows, other than the sweet babies we get out of it.
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:07 PM   #4
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Re: If it's not your first birth...

I was also induced with my first, and I do think the couplets and triplets (the never-ending contractions, whre they peak go down 1/2 way then peak again) are a result of induction and throwing the body into labor. With my second I actually didn't even need an epidural and honestly it wasn't that bad! Infact I am hoping for a similar birth this time. I think that the first time we do anything it's a learning experience, and while every labor and baby is different, I do think you will be more prepared this time. You know the pain you will experience, so now is the time to prepare to manage it. Sometimes it takes a while to get pain relief, so you do need to figure out a way to deal with the pain. Some suggestions from me, a 4th time PG mama:

Change positions until you figure out what works, and stand your ground when something does hurt and you don't want to do it. Being in an upright position or on all 4s should help the back pain. You can request a birth ball and stay on that while you are monitored. I really think this helps bring the baby down, almost rocking her into place with each contraction. DH can put pressure on that spot on your back taht hurts or give you a back rub.

Relax, this is KEY to controling the pain IMO. You can practice now getting into the zone. I would do deep breathing (not the panting you see in the movies, deep relaxation breathing), and focus on relaxing the muscles in your birthing zone. Each time you get a contraction focus on the relaxing of the muscles instead of the pain, visualize a flower opening and visualize your body opening to birth your baby. I know it sounds sort of crazy, but it is relaxing and it does help with the pain in the earlier stages of labor, before transition. I could do this the entire time until transition hit, then I couldn't focus on the relaxing anymore b/cthe pain was too intense. When it got that way, I did the candle-blowing breathing thru each cx (less than an hour).

Other great things to keep in mind, your body has done this before, and it knows more of what it's doing! You know what the sensations will feel like this time around, and you will be better at dealing with them. Pain relief is available if you need it (although it may take a while to get it going), sign everything ahead of time if you do plan to get the epidural so all you have to do is call the anesth. in! Second labors are often a lot shorter than first labors. My first one was 8am to 5:30pm (induction), my second I got to the hospital around 7:30am and had her at 12:30 with no pain meds at all! My boys it was sort of the same thing, we were there less than 4 hours before the first baby was born! Of my friends who's labor I know about all of them had much shorter labors with the second, and several didn't need pain meds even if they had them the first time around. There is something to be said of experience, and you have experience now! You will do fine! You will also naturally have less anxiety about parenting the baby, nursing, ect. b/c you have done it before. Second (and later) babies are so much easier b/c we are just more relaxed about everything

Best of luck and hope this helped! I am not worried or scared of the pain of labor at all this time around. I know it will hurt, but it won't last long and I will have a sweet baby for all my troubles
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:21 PM   #5
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Re: If it's not your first birth...

KingsDaughter, I hope you're right. Thanks for giving me hope!

SaxyChic, I'm in Arlington. Where are you? I'll be delivering at the Virginia Hospital Center.

Free Thinker, thank you so much for the suggestions and the words of encouragement. I'm taking a Lamaze class this time around to try and help me feel even more prepared mentally. Plus, I've been working an relaxation through meditation, so perhaps that will come in handy, too.
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:22 PM   #6
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Re: If it's not your first birth...

Katie my first was so bad I couldn't even discuss it without crying for over 6 months. I found a new doc and the second one was a breeze. It'll be better.
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:32 PM   #7
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Re: If it's not your first birth...

I'm with you . . . getting a little freaked about delivering #3 in a few weeks. I was not induced with either child, and with both of them, I went in thinking "I can handle this, no meds, I know all of my relaxation/pain management techniques. And then the real labor came. Seriously, I have to think that if other mamas experienced my pain, that they would also ask for the epidural. We all have different pain tolerances. I have friends that never had a PMS cramp in their life, and labor was a walk in the park. My husband needed an emergency appendectomy and merely had "an upset stomach". The dr. wondered how he could even walk.
I would definitely try to avoid induction for the reasons other mamas gave. Other than that, do what you feel comfortable with! If you want to try things without meds, great! But, don't beat yourself up if you end up asking for them!
My situation is a bit different this time, but it still freaks me out. I've had unexplained skeletal muscle damage for the past few years (was sent to many docs and diagnosed and undiagnosed with all sorts of nasty diseases. In the end, no diagnosis). My OB does not want to me to "try very hard" with this one, and I'd have to say I agree, since the alternative is possible heart damage. Still freaked out, though, mainly because this baby is quite large.
Your body can do this and your doctors and nurses (and if necessary, medication) are there to help!
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:51 PM   #8
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Re: If it's not your first birth...

Quote:
Originally Posted by katieupnorth View Post

SaxyChic, I'm in Arlington. Where are you? I'll be delivering at the Virginia Hospital Center.
I'm in Alexandria (City). LMK if you want to get together for a play/coffee date sometime~we're always game for those kinds of things... or swapping horror stories!
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:11 PM   #9
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Re: If it's not your first birth...

Nope me, and I after two natural births I am going for the epidural this time .....
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:17 PM   #10
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Re: If it's not your first birth...

I had 3 amazingly beautiful vaginal births...yes unbelieveable pain... but still joyous occasions. My forth the stupid doc talked me into induction for various idiotic reasons and it was the most horrendous awful traumatic experience that ended with an emergency c-section and worse after. The only glorious part was that baby was fine (although I think he was traumatized since he cried for the following 18 months! ). I'm praying you have a better experience this time mama! It can be wonderful! This time I had another c-sections since the twins came so early and even though it was not what I would have liked ( I would have preferred to make it a whole lot longer!), the delivery was calm, beautiful and joyous!
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